Automating the Windows 8 Startup Background Image

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*** Update 11/26/12 – KB2770917 now provides administrators with the ability to modify the default background as well, without needing to perform the below steps within WinPE ***

Automated deployment and configuration of Windows 8 is much like that in Windows 7.  I can easily see many organization not caring for the default Windows 8 background startup image and wanting to replace it with one of their own.  In a TechNet posting, one person had gone through a series of painful scripts to take ownership of a folder, propagate the permissions, etc.  While this could still accomplish the task, many of the steps seem unnecessary.  The easiest method that I found to change the default image was to replace the initial file while the ConfigMgr 2012 imaging process was still within WinPE.  In this way, the files are not locked by any permissions.

To do this:

  1. Create or find the image that you desire to use.  Save it as a .png file type.
  2. Create a script to execute the below command to replace the image.  (Side note: if you want to retain the old image, then add an extra entry into your script to rename the img100.png file)
    if exist C:\Windows\Web\Screen\img100.png xcopy “%~dp0MyCustomStartupBG.png” C:\Windows\Web\Screen\img100.png /Y
  3. Execute the script in a task sequence with a Run Command Line step.  Place this immediately after the Apply Operating System step!
  4. At completion of your task sequence is your custom startup background image!

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